I was trying to figure out how to put in words the difference between Charlie and a typically developing child his age. There were so many cues along the way, so many little things that stood out to me that other people didn't see. I try to explain that he was slow meeting every milestone and get, "Well, each child develops at their own rate!" in a cheerful voice. I'd explain that he spoke late and didn't try to use words to communicate his needs until he was three and get some story about some kid in the family who talked late and is 'just fine now.'
I know people want to calm your fears and reassure you, but that doesn't help when you know something is wrong with your child.
Charlie talks now, but he doesn't converse. Yes, you can talk and forth about LarryBoy or getting dressed or how many marshmallows need to be in his hot chocolate (aka lukewarm chocolate soy milk). You can ask a question and get an answer, then ask another one, but you can't really talk to toCharlie.
I realized today how to explain the difference between Charlie and everyotherkid. Charlie doesn't ask why. He doesn't ask how. He doesn't ask 'what happens if' or wonder what makes this or that work.
He's three-and-a-half. Every other two or three year old I've ever known has asked 'But, why?' all day long and wanted to understand the world they live in. Charlie does not. He wants to know where he's going and where his stuff is, but isn't aware enough of the world around him to ask why.